By Scoop Malinowski
Status: Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. (Note: This Biofile interview was done by phone in 1993.)
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 250
DOB: January 10, 1949 In Marshall, Texas
Childhood Heroes: Jim Brown – football. I wanted to become a great athlete after seeing Jimmy Brown carry three guys over the line. Steve Reeves – actor who played Hercules in movies.
Hobbies: Bass fishing.
Best Book I Ever Read: The Bible.
Best Boxer I Ever Saw: Muhammad Ali – in his 1966 KO win over Karl Mildenberger.
Favorite Movies: Ben-Hur – I usually watch that once a year. Gone With The Wind. The Joe Louis Story.
Favorite TV Shows: The Beverly Hillbillies, The Amos & Andy Show.
Musical Tastes: All music, Michael Jackson.
Nickname: Monkey – my little sister gave it to me as a baby. It stuck with me.
Favorite Meal: Cheeseburgers. There’s nothing better than a nice cheeseburger.
Pre-Fight Meal: Broiled chicken, mixed vegetables, lots of water.
Biggest Sports Thrill: The last time UCLA won the NCAA Basketball Championship with Lew Alcindor. They beat Houston. That was a big thrill. I was such a UCLA fan. It was the last year Alcindor played at UCLA.
Favorite Sport To Watch Outside Boxing: NBA basketball.
Favorite City: New York City. The best foods, the best restaurants in the world. That’s why I like it.
Little-Known Fact: I’m a cowboy. I break horses – horses that have never been ridden before. It’s not an easy thing to do.
Closest Friends In Boxing: Bob Arum – he’s a guy I consider a close friend. Dan Duva. James Toney – I love that kid. He’s always real nice and friendly to me. I know he’s tense and all before his fights but he’s always got something nice to say to me.
Favorite Boxer To Watch Today: James Toney.
Favorite Fight: Cassius Green-Charlie Shipes (1968).
Person I Most Admire: Dwight D. Eisenhower. He had more courage than any guy in the political world. He had a lot of courage. He moved from the military world into the political world. I really admired him. Admire him now, even at this point.
Career Accomplishments: 1968 Olympic gold medalist; Boxed as a pro from 1968-1977 and 1987-1997; Won the World Heavyweight title by KO vs. Joe Frazier in 1973 as a 3-1 underdog; Became oldest man to win heavyweight title at age 45 in 1994 vs. Michael Moorer; Final ring record is 76-5 (68 knockouts); his George Foreman Grill sold over 100 million units and in 1999 he sold the commercial rights to the grill for $138 million.
(George Foreman oil painting by LeRoy Neiman.)